Hutchison Whampoa

Internet not to blame for fall in CD sales

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 May, 2004, 12:00am

Almost every teenager in Hong Kong has a computer at home.

Because most personal computers are connected to a fast broadband network, downloading MP3 tracks from the internet has become a growing trend, and this raises controversial questions about the effect of the internet on the sales volume of CDs.

But the drop in CD sales is not necessarily the result of increasing use of the internet.

Music downloaded from the Web is usually of a poor quality. There is usually a loss of information and a deterioration in sound quality during the transmission of data to the computer's memory.

The main reason people download music is that they want to listen to newly released songs. If they like the songs, they will buy a quality version. Uploading a song on the net increases the song's exposure in the same way the radio gives exposure to a song.

Secondly, when teenagers buy flowers and souvenirs of their pop idols, they also buy their CDs to support them. Downloading songs from the internet would be almost like betraying their idols.

According to research conducted by an American professor, 5,000 downloads are matched by the loss of only one unsold CD.

The main reasons for decreasing CD sales are the global economic recession and competition in the market resulting from the continual promotion of new singers to pop-star status.

Music companies should know that we consumers are capable of rational thinking. Whenever they see a sales downturn, they should determine whether the price is worth the quality of the music.


Tai Po



I am so far behind with my reading that you must forgive me for being a few days late with this inquiry. But I must know: Are you serious about your 'serious of bytes' by which a virus can be identified by Kaspersky's software, as described on page 3 of the Technology section on April 20?


Wan Chai



Further to my letter to you about 3G in Hong Kong ('Switching to 3G proves an expensive mistake', April 27), I would give you a follow-up on the matter.

Stephen Law, of the public relations department of Hutchison Telecom, has just called me to say they wish to respond to my complaints. Firstly, they will unlock my Motorola A925 so that I can use SIM cards by other service providers in China and the United States. They have offered to do it free of charge.

Secondly, they have offered to upgrade the NEC 313 to a NEC 616, again free of charge. The NEC 616 is a better piece of equipment and far more user-friendly.

Mr Law tried his best to make me feel good about their products and services, and I have to give him an A-plus for service. Hutchison Telecom has at least tried to win back one customer.

In fairness to Hutchison Telecom, if you want to print my previous comments on the 3G services and products, you must include what they did this morning in an effort to make good the situation. They were more than generous.

However, Hutchison Telecom still has to fight an uphill battle on services and product problems. In addition, making the products easier to use and changing people's phone habits cannot be accomplished overnight.

It is a job I do not envy.

Now I am contracted to use 3G for another 17 months.

Perhaps I will have a more favourable report for you by such time.


Happy Valley